Daniel Beck and Paulette (Van Laere) Guion on July 17th, 1945
And Internationalist Dan writes way back on August 25th, by regular, not airmail, “Mail service is immensely improved— 5 to 6 days by airmail. Thus I am answering your August 19th letter today; and a rather amusing situation it is too, reading your account of how the war ended in Trumbull, because over here it is not yet official although we are convinced that the formality alone is lacking. But the spontaneity of celebration seems to have suffered an even greater blow than that of VE day because of rumors and preliminary reports. No tolling of bells, no blowing of horns, no demonstration of any kind has marked the end of the war, in Drancy, although I understand that the Yanks in downtown Paris cut up a bit on 16th of Aug. I am excited at the prospect of Lad’s getting home so unexpectedly. If only it is true! And if only I had known! Speaking of getting home, I hope you can send me those articles for Paulette as soon as possible because I might be leaving soon. She will not be able to leave for a matter of months because she must wait for an immigration visa from Philadelphia. Also if pregnant (which seems definite) she might be prohibited from sailing on any Army transport until the child is three months old. There is always the alternative of civilian transportation but waiting lists are long and space is limited. It seems that we must just make the best of it. While I remain in
Page 3 6/16/45
France it is feasible to send parcels but whether or not it will be possible after I leave I cannot say. So please don’t wait for the fall and winter catalog. Enclosed are two belated letters, one to Marian and the other to Jean that Chiche wrote last May. They were mailed to me while I was in Maastricht but were returned to Calais undelivered. We are both excited about the “expectations”. Chiche asks if it is possible to buy wool in America. She wants six lobs of wool, two each of pink, light blue and white. Our Army program is undergoing the throes of reorganization. We are hoping to get a good educational program started and perhaps I can take the Paris University course. It looks now as if I might get home in November or December. If you get a chance, please write a letter of thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Rabet, 5 rue Cuvier, Drancy, Seine, France. They have given us (Chiche and I) every form of hospitality imaginable and will not accept any money for it. I manage to find small presents for them such as cigarettes and soap but I feel very much in debt to them. Most of their food is bought on the black market because the legal ration is too slim. They particularly miss meat. If you can find any kind of canned meat or fish, please send it.
(Cease quotes. Red (Don Sirene) dropped in a while ago to see Lad, who is at present touring New England with his wife, and was accompanied by his fiancée, Geraldine Fisher. He asked me if I had seen the Bpt. Herald (Bridgeport Herald newspaper) headline which read: “Corp. Sirene wins Syracuse belle”. He said Jack Filman and Bill Palmer were fresh out of the service and that Barbara Plumb (Dan’s former girlfriend, who enlisted as a WAC) was expected home in November.)
Tomorrow and Friday, I’ll post the final segments of this letter.